Urban Legends, the Politics of Outrage, and Excising Chauvinism from Ministry for Men….

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When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

I almost never have “writer’s block.” Instead – typically – I have to choose between the many things I feel it’s important to address.

Urban Legend:

Today it’s a little easier. I could post about how disappointingly easy it is to hoodwink so many people with the latest scam or urban legend. I actually replied to a few of the people who dutifully forwarded the, “I got another friend request from you yesterday….” message.

  • “Did you really?” I asked.
  • “No,” they replied.
  • “Then why did you tell me you had?” I wanted to know.
  • “Because it said to,” one explained.

What else, I wonder, would they be willing to pass on, say, or even do because they were told to?

the Politics of Outrage:

Then there’s the continuing escalation – arms race – of the politics of outrage:

  • “I am outraged!”
  • “No, I am more outraged than you!!”
  • “Really? I’ll see your outrage and raise it a notch and I’ll call you unpatriotic to boot!!!”
  • “How dare you, sir!” Removes glove. “Take this!”
  • Yadda yadda yadda……

So, no, I’m not writing about those this morning.

Excising Chauvinism from Ministry for Men – and getting the message right:

What is on my mind this morning is a conversation I had with a friend yesterday about men’s ministry. This person knows that WFPC is well ahead of most Presbyterian churches when it comes to engaging men in Bible study and fellowship. We have, between the various groups, around 60 guys involved in weekly covenant group meetings. Leadership is strong, and several men are almost ready to be trained so we can reach even more.

Because of that my friend suggested we consider participating in an upcoming nationwide webinar featuring a big-name speaker.

First, I did a little research on the speaker and the organization sponsoring the webinar. Then I formulated the following response. I’m sharing this because much of the time we all make the mistake of thinking, “This is the model that makes the most noise, so isn’t this what all men’s ministry looks like?”

Dear friend:

I appreciate you thinking of me, and of the men. I so admire your commitment and your passion for faith and learning. It is inspirational.

However, I did some research (it’s what I do!). I’m sure you’d agree that neither one of us want the men of WFPC to be influenced by someone who teaches that women have no place serving as deacons or elders, who teaches that their pastor is not qualified to lead a church, and who pushes a hard-line Southern Baptist social agenda that is at odds in so many ways with the Jesus I love and follow.

Get Real A Spiritual Journey for Men by Derek Maul

The irony is that I have written several books and spent the last decade traveling coast to coast teaching and keynoting at men’s events specifically to offer an alternative to the often narrow and chauvinistic message offered by people just like this! In fact, LifeWay do not stock my books exactly because I am not in lockstep with such an approach.

We have made so much progress here in the past five years, and I am looking forward to leading even more men into a deeper daily walk with Jesus – the Jesus who loves Southern Baptists and Presbyterians both, but is a little more inclusive than some of his followers…. :-).

Peace and blessings – Derek

A Little More Inclusive:

That’s right, I said, “Jesus is a little more inclusive than some of his followers tend to be.” Jesus is God’s invitation; Jesus is the gate itself, not a “Check your ID at the door” gatekeeper.

  • I love this country, but I stand against religious nationalism.
  • I am guided by the authority of the scriptures, and the witness of the Bible affirms the gift of spiritual leadership in women.
  • I follow Jesus with all my heart, and because I do I cannot confuse Christianity with partisan politics.
  • I worship God in spirit and in truth, and it is clear to me that you don’t have to be straight, or socially conservative, or baptized by immersion to be my brother or my sister in Christ.

Ministry to men in this 21st Century must abandon both the stereotypes of male chauvinism and a knee-jerk cultural conservatism more identified with reactionary politics than following the Living Way of Jesus.

Ministry to men in this 21st Century must abandon both the stereotypes of male chauvinism and a knee-jerk cultural conservatism more identified with reactionary politics than following the Living Way of Jesus.

Simply put, I believe God wants much more of us than that.

In love, and because of love – DEREK

2 comments

  1. Derek – I like the message, once again. Jesus doesn’t get the press He should for being the first advocate of women’s rights; the first advocate for diversity and inclusion – and all at a time when those ideals were TRULY radical! 1. Love God; 2. Love thy neighbor – STILL what it is all about, eh. 😉 Peace, my brother!

    Liked by 1 person

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